Former Olympic head spears Armstrong

Alessandro Donati, former head of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) medical commission and an outspoken critic of Dr Michele Ferrari, has told German weekly Die Zeit that he believed Lance Armstrong used not just EPO as alleged by L'Equipe one week ago, but a range of substances.

"No one could achieve what Armstrong has achieved taking EPO on its own," said Donati. "EPO improves your breathing capacity. But you also need other substances, such as anabolics, testosterone and a lot of others."

He added: "A lot of riders take whatever they can get their hands on, I mean everything, to go faster than the next guy. Cycling is still a victim of widespread doping. It is caught in the jaws of doping because tactics in cycling plays a very minor role. What you need absolutely most of all is sheer physical strength."

Donati also gave a serving to L'Equipe and his own Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, stating: "newspapers who report on cycling shouldn't be organising races"; L'Equipe is owned by Tour de France organiser A.S.O., while the Italian sports daily La Gazzetta is owned by R.C.S., organisers of the Giro d'Italia.

Although raising conflict of interest issues when both organiser and primary media outlet are under one roof, Donati believed L'Equipe's findings to be sound to the point of being 'unquestionable'.

"During the past few years there have been clear indications as to how Armstrong has been so successful. The documents printed by L'Equipe are very damaging but also unquestionable," he said.

Cyclingnews coverage of the L'Equipe allegations

June 27, 2006 - Carmichael defends Armstrong, Armstrong answers L'Equipe & LeMond
June 26, 2006 - LeMond: "Armstrong threatened my life"
June 19, 2006 - Armstrong calls for Pound's exit
June 18, 2006 - Lance Armstrong's open letter against Dick Pound
June 4, 2006 - UCI hits back at WADA
June 3, 2006 - WADA slams the Vrijman report
June 2, 2006 - L'Equipe stands by its story, UCI supports Vrijman's findings
June 1, 2006 - UCI, WADA and Armstrong react to Vrijman's report
May 31, 2006 - UCI lawyer asks for Armstrong's name to be cleared
May 14, 2006 - Two more weeks for Armstrong investigation

Click here for full coverage of the L'Equipe allegations.

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